one-pot creamy fusilli with spicy italian sausage and caramelized onion

This is one of those dishes that stem from the need to use up left-over ingredients in the fridge.

We had a small gathering last week and I had a pack of spicy Italian sausages as well as a box of caramelized onion that was not eaten. I was quite pleased, really because there are many things I can do with these two ingredients. 

Since I had spent the time today baking and generally having a whale of a time pottering around in my kitchen, I decided to cook a simple one-pot pasta for dinner.

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There are many about this dish that please me. The fact that I was able to use up some of the left-over food in the fridge (I abhor wastage!); and that this was a meal that was totally packed with flavor; and most of all, that I could cook everything in one pot. Not just any pot, mind you. I got to use one of my favorite pots, the Le Creuset Buffet Casserole

What is so special about this pot you may ask.

Well, to start with, because of its shape and height, meats can be seared at a higher temperature, then the same pot can be used to cook the rest of the meal at a much lower heat. This means, yes, everything can be cooked in one pot. Plus, Le Creuset cast iron pots are designed to spread heat evenly. This allows food to be cooked evenly. For a cook, this is very important because I can think of very few things that are worse than under cooking some parts of the meal and over cooking the rest!

Also, Le Creuset pots are extremely versatile. You can use them to sear, stew, boil and fry. You can cook over a gas fire, using an induction cooker, and they  work fabulously in the oven too. Best of all, cleaning after is always a breeze – simply allow the pot to cool slightly then wash with warm water and soap. If there are  any food residues, all one has to do is to fill the pot with water, allow it to soak for 15-20 minutes, then remove the residues with a brush. With care, Le Creuset cast iron pots can last several generations. 

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Let me show you how to cook this easy one-pot pasta dish.

Start by cooking the sausage meat in a little olive oil, As it cooks, the sausages will render some fat, so do not use too much oil at the beginning. Use a spatula to break the meat apart as it cooks. Once cooked, transfer the meat into a bowl and set aside. Remove most of the oil from the pan.

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Saute the onion in the same pan for 1-2 minutes, until slightly softened. 

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Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

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Add the red pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.

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Return the meat to the pot. Stir to mix.

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Pour the stock into the pan. I used mushroom stock because that was all I had in the pantry, but you can also use low-sodium chicken stock or make your own sodium-free chicken stock. (For my notes on Home-made Chicken Stock, see here.)

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Use your spatula to gently scrape the bottom of the pot to release any “bits” that are stuck. 

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Add the cream, bring this to a boil, and add the pasta.

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Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally.

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Stir in the caramelised onion. Season with salt, black pepper and chili flakes (if using). 

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Top with Parmesan, garnish with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and serve immediately.

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I love this dish. The flavors of the spicy Italian sausages and the caramelized onion simply go so well together. Not too shabby for a dish that was made with left-overs, eh? 🙂

 

One-Pot Creamy Fusilli With Spicy Italian Sausage And Caramelized Onion
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pack spicy Italian sausages
  2. 1/2 onion, diced
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 medium red pepper, diced
  5. 1 cup (240ml) mushroom (or chicken) stock
  6. 3/4 cup (180ml) cream (or milk)
  7. Caramelised onion (See notes)
  8. 500g fusilli, or any other pasta
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  11. Parmesan, to taste
To garnish
  1. Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  2. Chili flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the sausage meat in a little olive oil, As it cooks, the sausages will render some fat, so do not use too much oil at the beginning. Use a spatula to break the meat apart as it cooks. Once cooked, transfer the meat into a bowl and set aside. Remove most of the oil from the pan.
  2. Saute the onion in the same pan for 1-2 minutes, until slightly softened.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the red pepper and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.
  5. Return the meat to the pot. Stir to mix.
  6. Pour the stock into the pan. I used mushroom stock because that was all I had in the pantry, but you can also use low-sodium chicken stock or make your own sodium-free chicken stock.
  7. Use your spatula to gently scrape the bottom of the pot to release any “bits” that are stuck.
  8. Add the cream, bring this to a boil, and add the pasta.
  9. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the pasta is al dente. Stir occasionally.
  10. Stir in the caramelised onion. Season with salt, black pepper and chili flakes (if using).
  11. Top with Parmesan, garnish with chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and serve immediately.
Notes
  1. To cook caramelized onion, thinly slice 4 medium onions. Cook in a casserole with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon sugar. Stir occasionally to prevent the onions from burning. Do not stir too frequently as the onion will break into small pieces. Cook this for about 20 minutes, over medium heat, until the onion has caramelized.
The Domestic Goddess Wannabe http://thedomesticgoddesswannabe.com/




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